Fidelity bank card banner Camano banner
RIGHTSView: AS NORTH BUYS IN ON STATE POLICE

By News Express on 09/11/2013

Views: 3,614


In a recent conversation with a friend from Northern Nigeria, I came out with the idea that an average northerner just like his/her opposite number from the South is much more concerned about co-existing peacefully in a United Sovereign Entity called Nigeria with the understanding that social justice, equity and accountability will reign supreme in the body polity.

This like mind from Kano State to be precise was of the opinion that most of the recent and past civil unrests, religious riots and the bombing campaign by armed Islamic insurgents, were fostered on the poor northern populace by their tiny political elite who often stoke up civil unrests to promote their selfish agenda.

He looked into my eye balls and stated emphatically that the reason why most ordinary people of northern extraction are educationally backward and ravaged by existential poverty is because the tiny political elite of northern extraction who took charge of the governance at national,  sub-national and local levels in Northern Nigeria over the years, deliberately neglected the most important issue of academically empowering the majority of the populace for fear of being challenged to come clean with how the enormous receipts of financial resources from the federation account to these northern states and local councils were mismanaged and diverted into private pockets.

Using Borno State as a template, my northern friend (Mr. Hamisu) reminded me that the immediate past governor [Modu Sherrif] reportedly told the Nigerian press during his time in office that their ‘rabid’ criticism and their penchant for investigating how Borno State resources were managed did not bother him because, according to him, over 85 per cent of the Borno-born citizens were not academically empowered to read the publications in the popular press and so he did not nurse any fear of implosion or internal revolt.

Just about when my northern friend and I were to round up our discussion over cups of hot coffee on a typically cold Monday morning in the nation’s capital, a publication on social media popped up showing that the immediate past Borno State governor in question had just reportedly bought a state-of-the-art private jet allegedly costing him N11 billion or more.

We both reasoned that with the spate of killings going on by terrorists in Borno and adjoining states, coupled with mass and excruciating poverty afflicting nearly 90 percent of Borno indigenes, it will amount to a crime against humanity for any Borno-born elite including past and present political office holders to go on such alleged frolic and spending spree such as the reported “insane” acquisition of this exotic jet just to service one family even when many Borno citizens are poor and hungry.

Two former military presidents of northern extraction from Niger State reportedly retired into opulence and wealth even as one of them is said to have built for himself and very few family members a 50-bedroom mansion on top of a hill strategically close to the federal highway in the Niger State capital even when thousands of Niger State children are roaming the streets without food or quality education.  President Olusegun Obasanjo, who ruled both as military dictator and civilian president for a total of 12 years, has emulated this Niger State-born gap-toothed retired General by building for himself another gigantic hilltop mansion reportedly worth several billions in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

What an irony of starving in the midst of plenty and/or having a scenario whereby less than one percent of the populace dine and wine with the best food and strong/choice wines while the rest of the populace wallow in excruciating poverty especially in Northern Nigeria?

My northern friend and I also agreed that most often, northern political elite often promote their selfish agenda as northern agenda to the detriment of the promotion of national peace and harmonious co-existence of all nationalities. Topics such as the need to introduce state police to fill in the yawning gaps created by obvious lapses and professional incompetence of the current Nigerian police force is one among the many thematic issues that have recently been played up as divisive matters between the North and South.

During the just concluded nationwide consultations by the National Assembly to collate the views of Nigerians on constitutional amendment, some vocal northern political elite like Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso dismissed the clamour for creation of state police as a carefully choreographed agenda of the South to undermine the dominance of northern police officers over all other ethnic nationalities from where operatives of the Nigerian Police were drawn.

The Kano State Governor alongside his other colleagues from the northern political establishment were up in arms against their southern colleagues who vigorously campaigned for the introduction of state police to save Nigeria from sliding into imminent anarchy, lawlessness and crime following large scale collapse of the present policing institution known as federal police.

Those of us who support creation of state police believe that since Nigeria has experimented for 50 years with a single federal policing institution without successfully building professionally efficient and effective national police, it would not be out of place to try our hands at state police because it takes a fool to do same thing all of the time and expect a different result.

Another rational reason for clamoring for state police is because other civilised and advanced nations like the United States of America [USA] and United Kingdom [UK] currently have state and local police and crime rate is low in those climes even as law enforcement is speedy, efficient and transparent.

Some officials of the Nigerian Federal Government are afraid of state police because they believe that governors will manipulate the state police to achieve partisan or selfish agenda.

But these same officials fail to realise that ‘he that goes to equity must come with clean hands’ or rather ‘he that lives in glasshouse shouldn’t throw stones’ given that the current federal policing structure is not only professionally incompetent and too weak to fight crime, but top police officers pander to the whims and caprices of the presidency to go after opponents of the President to curry favour. Under the current compromised policing climate, the President of Nigeria literary holds both the ‘knife and the yam’ as the Igbo proverb goes, which means that he can as well manipulate the officers of the Nigerian Police to achieve set selfish goals.

Again, one way of ensuring that neither the presidency nor state governors benefit from federal and/or state police is to also allow the existence of a federal policing institution to operate alongside state police but with a legal framework to create monitoring commission under the control of the National Assembly to supervise the daily activities of both state and federal police departments to ensure the sovereign integrity of Nigeria.

An interesting development however happened on Thursday, November 9, 2013 which fundamentally served as eventual paradigm shift among the northern political elite regarding their opposition and/or fear of state police.

The Kano State Governor, who is the unofficial spokesman of political hawks in the North, has changed his mind and has adopted the call for state police following some rough experiences he had recently alongside other seven northern Peoples Democratic Governors who were harassed by officials of Nigerian Police Force to stop them from even holding private meetings among some of them who are publicly opposed to any move by the national hierarchy of the ruling national party (PDP) to foist President Jonathan as favoured presidential flag bearer of the party in the forth coming 2015 elections.

During the last national convention of the ruling party, this group of seven governors from the North including the governor of [southern] Rivers State Chibuike Amaechi staged a walk out and created a breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party to force President Jonathan to repudiate any ambition to go for second term in 2015. The Rivers State Governor has come under increasing federal government-sponsored attacks for allegedly nursing presidential ambition for 2015 which may harm the ambition of the current President who hails from same zone with the Rivers State Governor.

Both the mainstream and the breakaway factions of this national party are in different courts seeking for legal validation and authentication.

The Federal High Court Abuja Division is known to have issued an order winding down the factional office inaugurated by the rebellious group of party members composed of the seven governors and a quarter of the PDP members of the National Assembly. The Federal High Court Abuja never, and could not legally stop a group of Nigerians from associating even in the privacy of their guest houses since that would amount to large scale infringement of their fundamental constitutional freedom of association and movement. Soon, the Nigeria Police will further widen their understanding of this court order to mean that none of these seven governors could sleep with their spouses. Such is the unprecedented bastardisation of the mechanism of federal policing structure under this dispensation.

The incompetent Nigerian Police Force whose hierarchy is at the beck and call of the presidency, has, however, embarked on a campaign of physical, psychological and violent torture of this group of seven governors so much so that the police in Rivers State and Abuja have stopped these Nigerians from even meeting in their private and official capacities.

The series of police harassment has now compelled a rethink from the most vocal northern political elite-the Kano State Governor who has now adopted the state police as the best.

Leadership Newspaper of Friday, November 8, 2013 reported the development thus: “One of the leading members of G7 and Kano State Governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has reversed his earlier position of not supporting the idea for state police.”

“Governor Kwankwaso changed his opinion in view of the recent development where the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Asokoro Division disrupted a meeting of the five serving governors, senators and former governors.”

“Amaechi and Jang were right when they called for state police. I now declare my support for state police legislation. This is the chapter that should be re-opened at National Assembly. States require their own police,” Kwankwaso stated.

“He made this known to newsmen when he received the delegation of Senate Committee on Police Affairs who were in the state for an oversight function at Wudil Police University, Kano under the leadership of Senator Igwe N. Paulinius at Government House, Kano.”

Now it is clear that my northern friend was right when he accused northern political elite of only promoting their selfish agenda as northern agenda.

In this instance, however, the change of view by the Kano State Governor on the need for state police is a welcome development just as the National Assembly must be compelled to include a clause in the forthcoming constitution to give impetus to the call for state police.  

The voice of the people in demanding creation of State police in Nigeria of this 21st century is definitely the voice of God.

RIGHTSVIEW appears twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Columnist, popular activist Emmanuel Onwubiko, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source News Express

Posted 09/11/2013 11:32:56 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
The Improbable Hero, By Abdulrazaq Magaji

Senate wades into EFCC arrest of Innoson boss...

31 refugees drown off Libya in failed bid...

NNPC commends joint military operation, says security cover...

Okorocha, Zuma sign MoU on child development

Power sector risks collapse over N1.1trn debt burden...

Ambode visits Idimu tanker fire scene, commiserates with...

Breaking News: Catholic priests to be allowed to...

Melaye faults arrest of judges, says DSS acted...

12 arrested in kidnapping of US businessman

Boko Haram: We need more troops, armoured tanks,...

Come and defend yourself, Bayelsa Assembly tells Darlon...

 

Latest News 2 arrested for having sex in public in Maiduguri Husband, wife, son found dead in Lagos apartment Jonathan gets new appointment Cattle rustling, kidnapping now attract death penalty in Katsina CAN Presidency: We didn’t endorse Ayokunle’s re-election — Northern Christians Islamic State terrorists release new guerrilla war manual APC NWC summons emergency meeting over Zamfara Apapa gridlock: Operation Totality Enforcement begins Protesters litter Edo Assembly with faeces Attah to Buhari: Implement true federalism now or Nigeria disintegrates Okowa commissions Admiralty University, lauds collaboration between military, centres of learning Oil spills: Bayelsa communities accuse regulators of complicity with IOCs

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (482,407 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (420,378 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (358,840 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (307,240 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (271,121 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (241,671 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (229,756 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (211,551 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (203,869 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (200,921 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (181,639 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (181,632 views)

 

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (91) Business & Economy (4,278) Business Verdict (71) Columnists (1,035) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (615) Features (754) Global Business Monitor (366) ICT Monitor (44) International (3,479) Interview (180) Live Commentary (29) Love Matters (161) Maggie's Blog (276) News (46,528) Opinion (1,244) Pidgin (17) Politics (10,826) Religion (1,009) Sports (2,013) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera